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Mideast Comes to Columbia

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    The Mideast Comes to Columbia by Scott Sherman March 16, 2005 http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20050404&c=1&s=sherman Scott Sherman wishes to acknowledge
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2005
      The Mideast Comes to Columbia
      by Scott Sherman
      March 16, 2005

      Scott Sherman wishes to acknowledge the assistance of Liel
      Leibovitz of The Jewish Week. Fatin Abbas provided research for this

      n December 2003 Rabbi Charles Sheer, the director of the
      Columbia/Barnard chapter of Hillel, the Jewish campus organization,
      dispatched an e-bulletin to alumni, students and supporters. There
      was much to report: In 2002 a movement of students and professors
      had urged Columbia to divest from companies that manufactured and
      sold weaponry to Israel. In the end, Rabbi Sheer had vanquished the
      prodivestment forces with a well-executed campaign that garnered
      33,000 signatures. "There have not been any major divestment
      campaigns on any US campus, and almost no anti-Israel student-
      initiated activity--speakers, films or demonstrations--on our
      campus," Sheer noted with pride. "That's the good news." The bad
      news? "The battleground regarding the Middle East at Columbia
      University has shifted to the classroom." Rabbi Sheer was mainly
      referring to classrooms in a single department--Middle East and
      Asian Languages and Cultures (MEALAC)--and he hinted that a
      counterstrike against MEALAC was in the making: "A student group,"
      he wrote, "is currently working on a video that records how
      intimidated students feel by advocacy teaching...."

      Ten months later the New York Sun, a small but influential
      conservative daily, broke the story of the video Sheer was referring
      to. The film, the Sun noted, "consists of interviews with several
      students who contend that they have felt threatened academically for
      expressing a pro-Israel point of view in classrooms." Titled
      Columbia Unbecoming, the film was produced by the David Project, a
      shadowy, Boston-based group that has ties to the Israel on Campus
      Coalition, an organization whose members include the American Israel
      Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL)
      and the American Jewish Committee.

      ADVERTISEMENT Over the next five months the Sun ran dozens of rough-
      edged stories about developments pertaining to the film, many of
      which appeared under the tagline "Crisis at Columbia." The paper
      also hammered the university in a series of editorials: "The
      Education Department recently indicated it will expand its
      enforcement activities in respect of campus anti-semitism," the Sun
      averred on November 19. "Our reporting suggests that eventually
      federal authorities will have to get involved at Columbia." Other
      local papers echoed the Sun's reporting. On November 21 the Daily
      News published a "special report" headlined "Poison Ivy: Climate of
      Hate Rocks Columbia University," in which the paper
      proclaimed, "Dozens of academics are said to be promoting an I-hate-
      Israel agenda, embracing the ugliest of Arab propaganda, and
      teaching that Zionism is the root of all evil in the Mideast."
      Similar sentiments appeared on the editorial pages of the New York
      Post and the Wall Street Journal, in the Village Voice (under the
      byline of Nat Hentoff) and on Fox News.

      Local politicians, too, rushed into the fray: In late October US
      Representative Anthony Weiner, a Democrat who is running for mayor,
      wrote to Columbia president Lee Bollinger, demanding that he fire
      Joseph Massad, one of the professors assailed in the film, for "his
      displays of anti-Semitism."

      The MEALAC professors singled out by Columbia Unbecoming--Joseph
      Massad, Hamid Dabashi and George Saliba--did not cower before the
      allegations. "This witch-hunt," Massad declared in a furious
      riposte, "aims to stifle pluralism, academic freedom, and the
      freedom of expression on university campuses in order to ensure that
      only one opinion is permitted, that of uncritical support for the
      state of Israel."

      Dabashi, for his part, greeted the controversy with a mixture of
      indignation and melancholy. He was born in Iran, and has lived in
      the United States since 1976. "This is not the face of the United
      States that I can any longer recognize," Dabashi said
      recently. "This is not the country to which I immigrated and chose
      to call home more than a quarter of a century ago--a place where my
      political heroes lived, people I grew up admiring: Thomas Jefferson,
      Frederick Douglass, Herman Melville, Ralph Ellison, Rosa Parks,
      Stanley Kubrick, Ella Fitzgerald. How in such a short time could the
      face of a nation and the promise of its hopes change so radically,
      so unrecognizably?"

      he current battle at Columbia is the latest salvo in a larger, post-
      9/11 conflict concerning Middle East studies on campus. In late 2003
      the House of Representatives passed HR 3077. The bill, which
      languished in a Senate committee, mandated that area studies
      programs that receive federal funding under Title VI of the Higher
      Education Act must "foster debate on American foreign policy from
      diverse perspectives." HR 3077 sent a chill through many scholars of
      the Middle East. "This bill represented an unprecedented degree of
      intrusion by the federal government into what goes on in our
      classrooms and in our universities," says Zachary Lockman, chair of
      the department of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York

      An intellectual architect of HR 3077 was Martin Kramer, who, along
      with Daniel Pipes, has taken it upon himself to police and patrol
      the discipline of Middle East studies. Kramer is the author of Ivory
      Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America
      (2001), a senior associate of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle
      Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University and an
      indefatigable polemicist and critic. Since Columbia Unbecoming was
      first screened this past October, Kramer has been especially
      vituperative in his attacks on Massad, MEALAC and even president
      Bollinger. (In late January Kramer averred that Columbia's
      president "should have to jump through a hundred more hoops" before
      the MEALAC matter can be settled.) Pipes runs his own think tank,
      the Middle East Forum, which in 2002 launched Campus Watch, whose
      mission is to critique and harass liberal and progressive scholars
      of the Arab world [see Eyal Press, "Neocon Man," May 10, 2004]. The
      current developments at Columbia are deeply satisfying to Kramer and
      Pipes: A few months ago Harvard Magazine asked Pipes to delineate
      Campus Watch's recent accomplishments, and he replied, "Pressuring
      Columbia University to the point that the president has organized a
      committee [to investigate] political intimidation in the classroom."

      The creation of that committee, which consists of five Columbia
      faculty members, would not have occurred without Columbia
      Unbecoming. But one can't easily speak of "the film," since a number
      of different versions exist. Columbia students close to the debate
      maintain there are at least six versions. The film has never been
      released to the public, but it has been selectively screened for
      Columbia administrators, trustees, students and journalists. This
      magazine requested a copy from the David Project and was repeatedly
      rebuffed. I finally saw one version of the film in its entirety at a
      packed campus screening in late January. What's clear is that
      Columbia Unbecoming is a propaganda film: one that portrays Jewish
      students as "silenced" by professors who "criticize Israel
      and...question its legitimacy"; in which vague and anonymous
      accusations are tossed about by students whose faces are sometimes
      blurred and whose voices are sometimes masked; which deliberately
      conflates what instructors say in the classroom with what they
      publish and do outside the classroom; and which attributes sinister
      motives to Columbia administrators and faculty, not one of whom is
      given the opportunity to respond to the allegations.

      Columbia Unbecoming is a source of anguish and embarrassment to some
      prominent members of the university's Jewish community. Robert
      Pollack is a professor of biological sciences, a former dean of the
      university's Columbia College and a man who was instrumental in
      raising $13 million for the construction of the Kraft Center, a six-
      story building that is now the permanent home of Columbia's Jewish
      community. (Much of Columbia Unbecoming was shot in the Kraft
      Center.) "This building is a gift of the American Jewish community
      in its fullest happiness," says Pollack. "One must wonder: Why would
      a video like this be made in a building like that?" Pollack is no
      great admirer of MEALAC, and he clashed with Columbia's Edward Said
      over the Israel-Palestine conflict, but he has no patience for the
      view that the university is hostile to Jewish students: "It is a
      crazy, crazy exaggeration to claim that Jews are under attack at
      Columbia or that the faculty is anti-Semitic." And he is caustic
      about Columbia Unbecoming: "No one has seen the video," says
      Pollack. "There is no video to see. There's a cloud of videos
      constantly changing. It's innuendo and gossip."

      Nevertheless, Columbia Unbecoming does lodge a specific set of
      allegations against MEALAC in general and Saliba, Dabashi and Massad
      in particular--allegations that have traveled far and wide,
      including to Israel, where the film has been screened.

      George Saliba, a professor of Arabic and Islamic sciences, has
      taught at Columbia since 1978. In the film a student describes a
      heated discussion with Saliba outside of class about the Israel-
      Palestine conflict. She claims he said: "You have no voice in this
      debate...you have green eyes...you're not a Semite...I'm a
      Semite...I have brown eyes. You have no claim to the land of
      Israel." In late October Saliba obtained a transcript of the film
      from the New York Sun and dispatched a statement to the Columbia
      Spectator, the campus newspaper. "The statements that she attributes
      to me in the transcript, marked between quotations, are blatantly
      false," Saliba wrote, "and I can say in good conscience, and
      categorically, that I would not have used such phrases." (Saliba
      also noted that the student received a very respectable grade for
      the class. Indeed, none of the students in the film have charged
      that their grades have suffered because of their political views.)

      In its treatment of Hamid Dabashi, the David Project has neglected
      his academic scholarship on Iranian cinema, culture and politics.
      Instead, the film leans heavily on a single passage lifted from a
      recent essay he wrote for the Egyptian publication Al-Ahram,
      titled "For a Fistful of Dust: A Passage to Palestine." The
      following words from the essay appear in the film: "Half a century
      of systematic maiming and murdering of another people has left...its
      deep marks on the faces of the Israeli Jews, the way they talk,
      walk, the way they greet each other.... There is a vulgarity of
      character that is bone-deep and structural to the skeletal vertebrae
      of its culture."

      Dabashi correctly insists that the David Project mangled the quote--
      inserting the phrase "Israeli Jews" where he had "these people"--and
      took the entire passage out of context. (The context was his
      description of a five-hour ordeal in Ben Gurion Airport, during
      which time Dabashi was searched and detained by Israeli security
      officials.) "The phrase 'Israeli Jews' never ever appears in that
      entire essay. That is not my vocabulary," he says. "I was referring
      to citizens of a militarized state, both its victims and its
      victimizers. I could have written that passage about Americans in
      Iraq or Janjaweed in Darfur." Maybe so, but Dabashi misses the
      point. What's troubling about the passage is its sweeping
      characterization of an entire people--"Israeli Jews" or not--as
      vulgar and domineering in their very essence. The passage can easily
      be construed as anti-Semitic. Dabashi, at a minimum, is guilty of
      shrill and careless writing. In panning for gold, his critics
      discovered a precious nugget, one that he would do well to disown.

      Dabashi, however, sees himself as a victim--of Campus Watch, of the
      David Project, of American xenophobia and nativism. In June 2002
      Daniel Pipes co-wrote a piece in the New York Post
      titled "Extremists on Campus," which lashed Massad and Dabashi.
      Returning to New York from a trip to Japan, Dabashi says, he found
      his voice mail overflowing with bile: "Hey, Mr. Dabashi," said one
      caller. "I read about you in today's New York Post. You stinking,
      terrorist Muslim pig."

      inally, there is the case against Joseph Massad, whom the film
      calls "one of the most dangerous intellectuals" on campus. One
      senses that he is the real target of Columbia's internal and
      external critics. Massad, a Palestinian, earned his doctorate in
      political science from Columbia, where he developed a close
      relationship with Edward Said. In 1999 Massad was given an assistant
      professorship in MEALAC, and he is up for tenure in two years. (His
      scholarly output would seem to make him a viable candidate: Massad's
      first book, on Jordanian national identity, was published by
      Columbia University Press. His second, Desiring Arabs, is
      forthcoming from Harvard.)

      For Pipes & Co., Massad is something of a gift: He is strident,
      dogmatic, proud, deliberately provocative and utterly uncompromising
      in his defense of the Palestinian struggle. He is a man who traffics
      in absolutes, a man who often infuriates even those who are
      sympathetic to his views. Said worried about his young friend's
      propensity for careless rhetoric--a point that Massad himself
      acknowledged in his Al-Ahram obituary of Said: "He would caution
      (actually yell at) me against giving way to my 'youthful' enthusiasm
      in a world in which we have few friends and numerous enemies."
      Massad is a ferocious critic of Israel and Zionism, but he is also
      withering on the subject of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority.
      (He supports a single, binational state.) To his detractors he is a
      devil figure, a "dangerous intellectual." Massad frequently acts out
      the role by unleashing a steady stream of inflammatory anti-Zionist
      rhetoric: "racist Jewish state" is a locution he constantly employs.

      ADVERTISEMENT Columbia Unbecoming lodges two main accusations
      against Massad. The first concerns an alleged exchange that took
      place with a Jewish student, Tomy Schoenfeld, at an off-campus
      lecture that Massad delivered in 2002. Schoenfeld says he raised his
      hand and tried to question Massad, who, upon learning that he had
      served in the Israeli military, shot back, "How many Palestinians
      have you killed?" Massad denies the allegation: "Tomy Schoenfeld was
      never my student. I have never met him in any setting."

      The second allegation concerns an incident that took place in April
      2002, at the time of an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp,
      in Massad's Palestinian-Israeli Politics & Societies class. A
      Barnard student, Deena Shanker--who does not appear in the film; her
      story is told by someone else--claims that in an acrimonious
      classroom discussion, she told Massad that Israel provides civilians
      with advance warning of impending attacks. She says he erupted with
      these words: "If you're going to deny the atrocities being committed
      against the Palestinian people then you can get out of my
      classroom!" Massad denies this charge as well. As he told the
      Jerusalem Post on December 24, "I have never asked and would never
      ask any of my students to leave my class no matter what their
      comments and questions were." Shanker stands by her account, and
      cites two corroborating witnesses, only one of whom was officially
      registered in the class that semester, though both were in the room
      that day. Massad has insisted that his classes include unregistered
      individuals and auditors who he believes are there to heckle him and
      monitor his teaching.

      Nader Uthman, a MEALAC and Center for Comparative Literature &
      Society doctoral student who was Massad's teaching assistant that
      semester, says, "In Massad's class, the most prolific contributors
      to class discussion were students who disagreed with him, and many
      did not hesitate to interrupt him to make their point." Did Massad,
      on the tumultuous day in question, threaten to kick Shanker out of
      the room? Says Uthman, "To my recollection that never happened."
      Benjamin Bishop, who was present as a grad student that day,
      reinforces that view. "I have serious doubts about the allegation
      that Massad told a student to leave the class," says Bishop. "I
      don't have any memory of that."

      Of all the allegations in the film, Shanker's is the most serious;
      threatening to throw a student out of class would certainly be a
      violation of professional ethics. The facts concerning what happened
      that day are murky, but the following can be discerned: On one side
      was a Palestinian professor who is an unyielding critic of the
      Israeli government. On the other was a Jewish student who, with
      Jenin in ruins, mounted an unapologetic defense of the Israeli
      military with facts she says she heard on CNN. If the faculty
      committee determines that Shanker's account is correct, Massad's
      transgression, though certainly reprehensible, would hardly justify
      the overriding thesis of Columbia Unbecoming: that pro-Israel
      students are systematically silenced by professors in MEALAC.
      Shanker herself insists that MEALAC is "a really wonderful
      department, for the most part." She believes that Columbia's Jewish
      community is too religious, and she has come to value MEALAC's
      secularism. "I definitely feel safer in the MEALAC department as a
      Jew than I do at a religious Columbia Jewish event," she says.

      he roots of the Columbia conflict can be traced back to campus
      political developments in 2001 and early 2002. In March 2002 a
      network of national Jewish organizations met to evaluate what they
      saw as an alarming rise in anti-Israel activity on campus. From
      those meetings emerged the Israel on Campus Coalition (ICC), which
      is a partnership of Hillel and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman
      Family Foundation. (The three organizations share a building in
      Washington.) According to a 2002 article for the Jewish Telegraphic
      Agency, a Jewish-oriented news service, top-flight talent was
      brought in to advise the ICC and assemble a battle plan. "Pro-Israel
      professionals from the elite consulting firm McKinsey & Company
      offered pro-bono services," the article noted. Those professionals
      created a document for the ICC arguing that "the primary goal for
      this year should be to 'take back the campus' by influencing public
      opinion through lectures, the Internet and coalitions." The ICC--
      which recently received a $1,050,000 grant from the Schusterman
      Foundation, and whose speakers list includes Daniel Pipes--has an
      impressive array of "members": AIPAC, ADL, Americans for Peace Now
      and the Zionist Organization of America, among others.

      The ICC has a single "affiliate member": the David Project. The
      David Project is led by Charles Jacobs, who is a co-founder of
      CAMERA, the pro-Israel media watchdog group; the founder of the
      American Anti-Slavery Group, which calls itself "America's leading
      human rights group dedicated to abolishing modern day slavery
      worldwide"; and, along with Richard Perle, Charles Krauthammer and
      Bill Kristol, among others, a member of the board of advisers of the
      Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The ICC's website lists a
      number of "regional ICCs" that receive "strategic advice and
      guidance" from the Washington headquarters. The regional ICC
      representative in New York is none other than Rachel Fish, the
      director of the David Project's New York office. Jacobs was tight-
      lipped in a recent interview: He refused to provide details about
      his financial backers, referring only to unnamed "individuals and
      foundations"; and he declined to elaborate on the extent to which
      the David Project receives tactical advice from professional pro-
      Israel lobbyists and operatives allied with the ICC.

      ADVERTISEMENT What can easily be determined is that in October 2003,
      the David Project met with Columbia students and agreed to provide
      funding for a film that would give voice to their complaints. Rabbi
      Sheer, who ran Columbia's Kraft Center, gave his blessing: Sheer was
      already a fierce critic of MEALAC, having collided, over the
      previous two years, with both Dabashi and Saliba.

      In April 2002 Dabashi and several other professors spoke at a campus
      demonstration against the Israeli incursions into the occupied
      territories. Rabbi Sheer was upset by the event--the speeches, he
      later noted, were "sadly reminiscent of the kind of speech one hears
      on Arab TV"--and complained to administrators about it. He also
      contacted Dabashi and requested the text of his remarks at the teach-
      in. Dabashi felt these actions were unnecessarily intrusive, coming
      as they did from a campus religious official, and thrashed the rabbi
      in an essay for the Columbia Spectator. (Saliba, in a separate
      letter to the paper, was also blunt: "Rabbi! Just preach! Do not
      even attempt to teach!") Nine months later Dabashi organized a
      Palestinian film festival on campus, which again brought him into
      conflict with Sheer. Sheer left Columbia in 2004; Hillel sources
      insist that his departure had nothing to do with his support for the
      film. But Sheer evidently decided to bow out in pugilistic fashion:
      He has a starring role in the latest version of Columbia Unbecoming--
      a film, he now notes with regret in his voice, that has harmed
      Columbia's reputation. Says Dabashi: "This film is his revenge on
      Columbia, and of course on MEALAC"--an opinion Sheer describes
      as "ludicrous."

      Since Sheer's departure, the anti-MEALAC campaign has been
      energetically waged by a small group of undergraduates clustered
      around a charismatic 25-year-old student politician with shoulder-
      length hair named Ariel Beery, who is a veteran of the Israel
      Defense Forces. But other students have risen to MEALAC's defense.
      One undergraduate, Eric Posner, who is also a former IDF member,
      collected pro-MEALAC testimony from twenty or so majors and gave the
      material to the investigating committee established by Columbia
      president Bollinger. One student said of Massad: "He always made
      clear the distinctions between Zionism and Judaism and was
      unrelenting in his criticism of anti-Semitism and anti-Semites."
      Another student said of Dabashi: "He told me that he wasn't even
      reading the accusations about him because he didn't want to know
      which of his students might be talking about him or what they might
      be saying, for fear of being unable to treat them fairly."

      In July 2000 Edward Said, in a symbolic act of resistance, hurled a
      stone near the Lebanon-Israel border, an act that infuriated his
      detractors and led to calls for his dismissal from Columbia. In
      response, the then-provost of Columbia, Jonathan Cole, with the
      authorization of president George Rupp, issued a statement in
      defense of Said: "If we are to deny Professor Said the protection to
      write and speak freely, whose speech will next be suppressed and who
      will be the inquisitor who determines who should have a right to
      speak his or her mind without fear of retribution?" With that
      statement, many at Columbia believe, Cole honored himself and the
      best traditions of the university. "I felt it was important to
      defend Edward as soon as possible so that our position was clear and
      could not be misinterpreted," Cole said recently. "Some on the
      outside did not like my statement, others applauded it, but it was,
      I believe, clear and unequivocal."

      Today, many Columbia faculty members believe that on the question of
      academic freedom, Lee Bollinger, one of the country's pre-eminent
      scholars of the First Amendment and a man with a reputation as a
      liberal, has been rather less than clear and unequivocal. Bollinger
      did issue a press release on October 22 affirming that Columbia
      is "fully committed to upholding academic integrity and freedom of
      expression" and that the university "will not penalize faculty for
      statements made in public debate." At the same time, however,
      Bollinger insisted that "academic freedom is not unlimited. It does
      not...extend to protecting behavior in the classroom that threatens
      or intimidates students for expressing their viewpoints or that uses
      the classroom as a means of political indoctrination." In a recent
      interview, Bollinger came across as a beleaguered politician trying
      to locate and occupy the middle ground. "We must protect students,"
      he said, "just as we must protect faculty. We must live by our

      Yet Bollinger has not spoken in a clear and decisive voice to the
      general public, or even to his own community. He did not respond
      publicly to Representative Weiner's demand that Massad be fired; he
      seems unwilling to offer even a perfunctory defense of the MEALAC
      department; and he failed to confront and contest a torrent of
      tendentious information from four New York newspapers. The David
      Project and its supporters have orchestrated a media barrage of
      sustained intensity against Columbia. By not responding forcefully
      to that barrage, Bollinger has conveyed the impression that his
      institution is not equipped to handle the allegations, and that his
      faculty are fair game for partisan attacks.

      olumbia's response has been a disaster," says Robert
      Pollack. "People across the boundaries of all disagreement on Middle
      East issues agree that we don't understand the silence." The
      administration "made a mistake in adopting an agnostic posture at
      the outset, in using the word 'investigate,'" says Columbia
      political scientist Andrew Nathan. "They should have said: 'We have
      confidence in our faculty governance procedures. Deans and faculty
      committees regularly review the quality of faculty, curriculum,
      courses and teaching. We will protect them from outside pressure so
      they can do their job.'"

      Those observing the controversy from outside Columbia are also
      perplexed by Bollinger's behavior. "I really think Lee Bollinger has
      damaged every academic in the United States by his refusal to
      articulate a view on academic freedom," says Stanley Katz, an expert
      on higher education at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School. "I don't
      know how to construe his unwillingness to speak out, except to say
      that either he's afraid to, or that he does not support academic
      freedom. I find both alternatives disappointing and unpleasant."

      ADVERTISEMENT It is widely assumed at Columbia that Bollinger is
      under considerable pressure from pro-Israel alumni, whose ire could
      complicate his fundraising goals, and that his caution is connected
      to political imperatives having to do with Columbia's planned
      expansion into West Harlem--a $5 billion, thirty-year project on
      which Bollinger has staked much of his legacy. Bollinger is not
      eager to discuss these political imperatives, and he is currently
      awaiting the report of his faculty committee (whose members are
      maligned in the latest version of Columbia Unbecoming, partially on
      the grounds that two of them signed the 2002 divestment petition).

      But the report, which is expected in late March, is unlikely to end
      the imbroglio. The coalition arrayed against Columbia seems
      increasingly confident and well organized. It has begun to campaign
      for an external body to investigate the charges, and has enlisted
      Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and Village Voice journalist
      Nat Hentoff in that cause. Daniel Pipes and Martin Kramer can barely
      contain their satisfaction: In televised remarks to his Columbia
      supporters on March 6, Kramer noted that the MEALAC controversy
      could mark "a turning point" in the ongoing campus ideological war
      over Middle East studies.

      There are signs, however, that Columbia's president is beginning to
      rouse himself: In late February Bollinger sent a powerful letter of
      protest on behalf of one of his top Middle East scholars, Rashid
      Khalidi, who was recently dismissed from a teacher-training program
      run by the New York City Department of Education on the grounds that
      he had made "past statements" critical of Israel. But Bollinger
      needs to go much further in confronting his critics. Asked about
      Martin Kramer's assertion that he should have to jump through "a
      hundred more hoops," Bollinger replied, "I have no doubt that some
      of the attacks on Columbia are ill motivated, and I have no respect
      for the purposes they are trying to achieve." If Bollinger indeed
      feels that way, he should speak in a much louder voice about why the
      attacks on his institution are ill motivated; who precisely is
      behind those attacks; and what are the larger "purposes" those
      critics are trying to achieve. Five years ago, George Rupp and
      Jonathan Cole defended Columbia in a most eloquent and capable
      manner. Bollinger has yet to pass that test. Meanwhile, we haven't
      heard the last of the David Project: The group has announced that it
      will produce other films about other campuses.*



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